Bruins notice goalie interference calls on the rise

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Bruins notice goalie interference calls on the rise

While the NHL Director of Officiating Terry Gregson contends theres been no change to the way officials are enforcing goaltender interference infractions this season, the Bruins have noticed a high level of calls in their first two weeks worth of games.

There were a pair of important and controversial goalie interference calls that took place in Saturdays 1-0 Bruins win over the Leafs, but most people were talking about the goaltender interference call on Ottawa from Sunday nights game between the Senators and Canadiens.

The call in the MontrealOttawa game came as video replays showed that Carey Price was outside his crease, and wiped out a potential game-tying goal for Andre Benoit in the third period.

Likewise a Cody Franson game-tying score for the Maple Leafs was wiped out in the first period when Tuukka Rask was bumped outside of the crease by Nazem Kadri, and that caused a healthy amount of uproar in Canada.

There have been four goaltender interference calls for two-minute minor penalties in Bostons first eight games, and at least three goals have been wiped out for incidental contact including two scores Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

Perhaps Tuukka Rask is the wrong person to ask about it on the Bruins when looking for an impartial observer, but the Bruins goaltender doesnt seem to mind being protected very much.

I havent seen that many. I saw a couple in our games, but I dont know if theyre keeping a closer eye on them or not, said Rask, who is 5-1-1 with a 2.10 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Calls have been made during play. Sometimes theyre questionable and sometimes theyre not. I know I got called out for saying I was flopping around.

I know its a difficult challenge for referees because some goalies like to challenge the shot and come out of the crease a little bit. Then they get bumped and its tough to not make that call. Its a fine line. Im sure the refs have been told to keep an eye on those because its always a close call.

The Bruins havent been hosed, to use some Canadian parlance, by the goaltending interference calls, but one of the plays from Saturday nights win in Toronto was the same sequence that led to Brad Marchands injury. Toronto goalie James Reimer kicked out his leg pad as Marchand crashed the net, and Marchand tripped over the pad into the end boards.

Tyler Seguin eventually scored what appeared to be an insurance goal after a puck deflected off his body into the net during an ensuing scramble seconds later, but it was waved off because of the incidental contact earlier in the play with Marchand. Claude Julien said theres been a bigger pattern of more penalties being called this season across the NHL.

Some of increased penalty calls might have to do with players not in optimal game condition cheating more in the first few weeks of the season, and referees that are paying closer attention to a number of different things.

But Julien has definitely observed the orange safety cones practically installed just outside the goalie crease area.

We all know that there are a lot of penalties being called given the adjustments to the rules and youre seeing it all over. You look at the penalty killing column in league stats and almost every team is in the same area with X amount of penalties. So its consistent throughout the league, said Julien. Just look at our game in Toronto. To be bluntly honest it was questionable on Tuukka and it was extremely questionable on Brad Marchand. Reimer sticks his pad out and trips Marchand outside of the crease and then we scored.

Theyre very sensitive to that. Its not just us. Its all around the league. Maybe theyre sending a message to everyone to stay away from the goaltenders and then theyll soften up a bit once we start being a little better about it.

If teams continue to get whistled for goaltender interference on plays when the keeper is clearly outside the crease, then expect that march to the penalty box to continue for the rest of the shortened NHL campaign.

Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

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Trade targets for Bruins as they enter trade deadline season

Joe Haggerty looks at a number of trade possibilities for the Bruins with the NHL deadline little more than a week away

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Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Tuesday, Feb. 21: Leafs turning green

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while spring training is ramping up in a big way down in Florida.

*The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to wear their great, green, old school St. Pat’s sweaters around St. Patrick’s Day this season.

*Jonathan Quick is on the ice and participating in hockey activity, but isn’t quite ready to return for the Los Angeles Kings.

*This is one of the best things you’ll see today with Vladimir Tarasenko making the 11th birthday celebration for a special little girl.

*The Edmonton Oilers could potentially make a lot of moves at the NHL trade deadline, and unsurprisingly, there is quite the call for them to dump Benoit Pouliot after that bad contract they signed him to a couple of years ago.

*Lyle Richardson is predicting the biggest buyers at the 2017 NHL trade deadline and the Bruins are not among the nine teams listed.

*FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle goes 1-on-1 with Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello a wide range of subjects for the Athletic up in Toronto.

*Tommy Wingels continues to fight for inclusion in hockey even as he’s gone from the San Jose Sharks to the Ottawa Senators this season.

*For something completely different: A perfect pool trick shot video will blow your mind and probably get a few pool tables ruined with people trying to recreate it.